The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Debate Society preparing for international competitions world

The St. John’s Debate Society is going abroad later this month to compete in the 6th annual International Debate Academy Slovenia.

The IDAS competition will be a combination of a seminar and tournament hosted by the International Debate Academy, from Nov. 23-30.

Six students from the team will travel to Slovenia, a country in southern central Europe, bordered by Italy and Croatia.

Last month, the Debate Society competed in the largest competition in its history, the Hat City Invitational, at Western Connecticut State University, where 42 teams competed from Oct. 24-26. Debaters Tim Barr, Andrew Cully, Alia Bellwood, Shreshth Jain, Don Bracciodieta and Korey Pace mad`e it to the quarterfinals.

The teams of Bracciodieta and Pace, and Bellwood and Jain made it to the semifinal debates, making them two of the top eight teams in the tournament.

From Dec. 27 – Jan. 4, four members of the team will travel to Ireland to compete in the World Universities Debate Championship.

There are usually between 500-1,000 participants each year in the event.

The Debate Society is also scheduled to compete in other competitions in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon and California.

“I’m looking forward to traveling the world,” said Pace, a sophomore.

Sophomore Michael Scott, another Debate Society member, shared similar feelings.

“I’m stoked about this year because I’ve already gone to Los Angeles and I’m going to Slovenia over Thanksgiving break,” he said.

Pace said that he enjoys the traveling involved with being a part of the Debate Society. He said that he hopes for the team to be ranked in the top 10 in the country and top 200 in the world.

Scott added, “My expectations this year were to get many new members, attend more tournaments, do better as a team and do better individually.”

“We’re on course with our team expectations, but it’s really a toss up,” he said.

The team also had success when they sent Bellwood, Bracciodieta, Jain and Pace to the University of Toronto to compete in the Hart House Intervarsity Debating Tournament from Oct. 17-19.

The society debated issues from bans on alternative medicine to adapting to climate change. They endured five rounds of debate while opposing students from across the world.

“The best thing [about the Debate Society] is it encourages debate for the student body as a whole,” said Professor Stephen Llano, the team’s faculty advisor.

“It creates a culture of open argument.”

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